News & Analysis

  1. press-release

    Amazon makes same-day shipping free in select cities

    Amazon has made same-day shipping free to Prime subscribers in Boston, San Francisco, New York, and 11 other “metro areas” around the United States. The offer is available only to consumers who order $35 worth of products; otherwise they’ll pay the same $5.99 fee as before. [Source: The Los Angeles Times]
  3. wearables

    Jawbone files a desperate lawsuit claiming FitBit stole sensitive information

    Jawbone is getting desperate. The maker of UP fitness trackers has filed a lawsuit alleging that several of its employees took sensitive information about the company’s “supply chain, gross margins, product lineup and market predictions” with them after they were recruited by rival FitBit. Jawbone names FitBit and five of its former employees in the lawsuit. It’s seeking an unspecified amount of damages in the suit and is also pursuing an injunction preventing those former employees from disclosing…
  4. strictly-business

    CA Technologies to acquire Rally Software for $480M

    CA Technologies has reached an agreement to acquire Rally Software, a Boulder-based programming tools and services company, for $480 million. The deal is expected to close in September. [Source: Computerweek]
  5. elsewhere

    CNN: IRS hack started in Russia

    The IRS hack that led to an estimated $50 million in fraudulent tax returns and compromised the personal information of 100,000 people is believed to have started in Russia, according to a CNN report citing two unidentified sources familiar with the investigation into the hack. [Source: CNN]
  7. Overheard

    Sprint will eventually nix unlimited data

    Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure said yesterday that the wireless carrier might eventually have to phase out the unlimited data plans it offers today. It, along with T-Mobile, are the only well-known carriers still offering unlimited data plans; AT&T and Verizon got rid of them years ago. [Source: The Verge]
  8. press-release

    Google’s search results will soon have a ‘buy’ button

    Google has confirmed that it will soon introduce a button that allows consumers to purchase goods directly from its search results page. The Wall Street Journal reports that the button will first debut on mobile, and is meant to facilitate the purchase of items found via Google’s advertisements. [Source: WSJ]
  9. virtualmurder

    Facebook reaffirms its commitment to virtual reality with new acquisition

    Facebook has acquired Surreal Vision for an undisclosed sum to bolster its Oculus division’s virtual reality technologies. Surreal Vision will join Oculus’ research department in Washington and will remain focused on computer vision. The Wall Street Journal speculates that the acquisition is part of Facebook’s efforts to position Oculus as more than a gaming tool. Instead, it will create a new experience for streaming videos, live events, and other types of media. Here’s what Oculus had…
  11. elsewhere

    FCC targets robocalls

    The Federal Communications Commission has introduced a proposal that would allow consumers to avoid the robocalls, text messages, and other unsolicited communications that nag them throughout the day. It would also allow phone companies to build technologies that can automatically filter out these irritating missives for their customers. [Source: The Los Angeles Times]
  12. buzzfeed

    With Buzzfeed announcing IPO plans and Comcast interested in Vox, let the dystopian future of media begin

    Today, Buzzfeed’s CEO Jonah Peretti announced plans to take his cat listicle mega-company public. The fact that he made this announcement at a conference hosted by a tech blog, which was yesterday acquired by a larger media company that may soon be acquired by a telecommunications firm, is no coincidence. The new media landscape is shaking out fast and the losers are getting absorbed while the big winners are getting bigger — and more compromised by the platforms,…
  14. candy

    Recon at the Rancho: Crashing the Code conference, day one

    “The companies I admire are the companies that pursue their own mission not the mission of their parent company. Build for the long term. Everything we’ve built would be undermined by being acquired.” — Airbnb’s Brian Chesky in conversation with Vox Media’s Kara Swisher on stage at the Code Conference It is decidedly more fun to attend tech conferences when you are not invited. I learned this yesterday when I spirited down from San Francisco to the Terrenea Rancho Palos Verdes outside LA, and…
  15. meeker-trends

    10 things Mary Meeker thinks you need to know about Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report

    It’s hard to think of a more talked-about slideshow than Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report. The document is a nice way for tech journalists to learn more about their beats or to confirm hunches based on all the conversations they had throughout the year that is, without having to worry about “numbers” or “math” themselves. But it’s also a total bore. There are countless images that look like a nerd’s dream board, or the kind of nonsense Shingy doodles on an…
  16. social media_uprising

    In a potential dystopian nightmare, Virgin Pulse gets $92M to help employers promote a healthy workforce

    Based in the suburbs of Boston, Virgin Pulse has long been an odd little outpost of Richard Branson’s vast Virgin Group that includes everything from airlines to record labels to mobile phone networks to space tourism. Today, Virgin Pulse’s health and well-being platform built for corporate enterprises announced that it has received $92 million in new funding from Insight Venture Partners and, appropriately, its existing investor Virgin Group. The company’s products gamify health tracking — using information from fitness trackers and manually…
  18. vox-recode-bankoff,-swisher,-mossberg

    Kara Swisher has lost.

    It seems like a million years ago that Kara Swisher and Michael Arrington would spend their days taking shots at each other: Kara calling Mike “Yertle the Turtle” — a reference no one really understood — and complaining to any reporter who’d listen that he was unforgivably conflicted due to his investments in Internet giants Dogster and Seesmic. It seems even longer ago that I would sit in Mike’s office at TechCrunch listening to him gloat about how,…
  19. Uber

    Florida man undermines Uber’s claim that drivers aren’t employees

    Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity has decided that an Uber driver is eligible for unemployment because he was, despite Uber’s claim that drivers are independent contractors, previously employed by the ride-hailing startup. Much of the so-called sharing economy (which doesn’t really exist) is based on the idea that people who find work through a platform like Uber or TaskRabbit are independent contractors who shouldn’t be considered legitimate employees. Why? Because it’s cheaper. Having a bunch of…
  20. pando-inside-baseball

    Comcast mulls Vox Media acquisition

    Comcast’s interest in buying Vox Media, which was thought to have died down earlier this year, is reportedly rising again. The company previously invested in Vox — and Recode, the tech news site Vox acquired yesterday — and is now said to be mulling an outright acquisition of the media startup. [Source: Quartz]

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